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Answers to Essential Questions About Standards, Assessments, Grading, and Reporting

This easy-to-use Q&A gives jargon-free answers to the most common questions in 21st-century education reform—and provides a basis for cooperation on successful improvement efforts.

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Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781452235240
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2012
  • Page Count: 176
  • Publication date: December 20, 2012

Price: $31.95

Price: $31.95
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The definitive guidebook to the complex terrain of 21st-century standards!

Standards, assessments, grading, and reporting provide the foundation for nearly every initiative in modern education reform. But what do these terms actually mean—and what changes in each area will bring about the improvements teachers and school leaders want to see? Here, Thomas R. Guskey and Lee Ann Jung collect the essential questions that stymie educators, and give each one a short, simple, jargon-free response.

Perfect for new teacher induction or professional learning on Common Core Standards initiatives, this book offers:

  • A vocabulary and frame of reference to share with other educators
  • An understanding of effective implementation in standards, assessments, grading, and reporting
  • Specific ideas for purposeful action

Organized in a unique, accessible Q&A format, this easy-to-use guide gives educators the common ground they need for successful improvement efforts.

"This text is a useful tool that educators can use to build common definitions about frequently used and misunderstood educational terms within their state, district, or school. Only when educators have the same understanding of 'formative assessment' or 'grade reporting' can they be implemented with fidelity."
—Julie Quinn, Accountability Specialist
Utah State Office of Education, Salt Lake City, UT

"Written in small sections, this book explains well how we assess, why we use different assessments, and asks guiding questions for application of assessments. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in educational assessments."
—Jeanne Collins, Superintendent
Burlington School District, VT

Key features

(1) A definitive source book: guides readers through the complex terrain of 21st century standards, assessment, grading and reporting with clear explanations to the essential questions.

(2) Navigability: unique Q&A format makes it easy for readers to find answers to their essential questions.

(3) Authorship: Authors are nationally-recognized authorities on assessment and grading.

(4) Addresses vitally-important topics: includes unique coverage of grading considerations for struggling students.

(5) Versatility: excellent background for PD on Common Core Standards initiatives, new teacher induction, collaborative curriculum design, and common formative assessments. 


Thomas R. Guskey photo

Thomas R. Guskey

Thomas R. Guskey, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky. A graduate of the University of Chicago’s renowned Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistical Analysis (MESA) program, he began his career in education as a middle school teacher, served as an administrator in the Chicago Public Schools, and was the first Director of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning, a national educational research center. He is the author/editor of twenty-seven books and over three hundred articles published in prominent research journals as well as Educational Leadership, Kappan, and The School Administrator.

Dr. Guskey served on the Policy Research Team of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, and on the task force to develop the National Standards for Professional Development. He was named a Fellow in the American Educational Research Association and was awarded the Association’s prestigious Relating Research to Practice Award. He was also awarded Learning Forward's Outstanding Contribution to the Field Award and Phi Delta Kappan's Distinguished Educator Award. Perhaps most unique, in the 158-year history of his undergraduate institution, Thiel College, he is one of only three graduates to receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award and be inducted into the Thiel College Athletic Hall of Fame.

His most recent books include Implementing Mastery Learning (2023), Instructional Feedback: The Power, the Promise, the Practice (with Smith & Lipnevich, 2023); Get Set, Go! Creating Successful Grading and Reporting Systems (2020), What We Know About Grading (with Brookhart, 2019), and On Your Mark: Challenging the Conventions of Grading and Reporting (2015). He may be contacted by email at guskey@uky.edu, Twitter at @tguskey, or at www.tguskey.com.

Lee Ann Jung photo

Lee Ann Jung

Lee Ann Jung,PhD, is founder of Lead Inclusion, Clinical Professor at San Diego State University, and a consultant to schools worldwide. A former special education teacher and administrator, Lee Ann now spends her time in schools, working shoulder-to-shoulder with teams in their efforts to improve systems and practice. She has consulted with schools in more than 30 countries and throughout the United States in the areas of universal design for learning, inclusion, intervention, and mastery assessment and grading. Lee Ann is the author of 7 books, numerous journal articles and book chapters on inclusion, universal design, and assessment. She serves on the advisory board for Mastery Transcript Consortium, as section editor of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Education, and on the editorial board member for several professional journals. In her community, Lee Ann is a board member for Life Adventure Center, a local nonprofit with a mission of healing for those who have experienced trauma.

Bring Lee Ann Jung to your school or district! Learn more at LeadInclusion.org

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Authors

Preface: The Nature of Essential Questions

Part I: Standards

1. What are Standards?

2. Are Standards a New Idea in Education?

3. Why Do Some People Oppose Standards?

Part II: Assessments

4. What Is Assessment?

5. What Is the Difference Between Assessments and Tests?

6. What Is Formative Assessment?

7. Why Are Formative Assessments Important?

8. What Are Common Formative Assessments?

9. What Is Summative Assessment?

10. What Is High-Stakes Assessment?

11. What Are Instructionally Sensitive and Instructionally Insensitive Assessments?

12. How Do Assessments for Learning Differ From Assessments of Learning?

13. Do Formative Assessments Improve Student Learning?

Part III: Grading

14. What Are Grades?

15. What Is the Purpose of Grading?

16. Are Grades Essential to Teaching and Learning?

17. Why Are the First Grades Assigned So Important?

18. Do Low Grades Prompt Students to Try Harder?

19. Why Is Setting Percentage Cut-Offs for Grades an Arbitrary Process?

20. What Is Wrong With Grading on the Curve?

Part IV: Reporting

21. What Criteria Do Teachers Use in Assigning Grades?

22. What Is Standards-Based Grading and Reporting?

23. Why Do Some Parents Have Concerns About Standards-Based Grading and Reporting?

24. If Schools Implement Standards-Based Grading, Will the Grades Assigned to Students Likely Go Up or Down?

25. What Is the Most Important First Step in Implementing Standards-Based Grading?

26. What Is the Best Way to Inform Parents About Moving to Standards-Based Grading?

27. What Is the Best Way to Encourage Parents to Make Comments on the Report Card?

28. Will Standards-Based Grading Improve Student Learning?

Part V: Grading and Reporting for Exceptional and Struggling Learners

29. Who are Exceptional and Struggling Learners?

30. How Do We Assign Grades to Exceptional and Struggling Learners Who Require Modifications?

31. What Is the Difference Between Accommodations and Modifications?

32. How Do We Legally Report Grades for Exceptional and Struggling Learners on Report Cards and Transcripts?

33. Do High School Students Requiring Modifications Receive Course Credit Toward a Diploma? Do Modifications Make a Student Ineligible for Extracurricular Activities, Such as Interscholastic Athletics?

Summary and Conclusions




Price: $31.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.